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Ankara is the capital of Turkey, and it flies somewhat under the radar since most people think that Istanbul takes this role! It's the second largest city in the country, and its fairly central location makes for a wonderful mix of cultures and hence you will find Ankara a cosmopolitan city after your flight arrives. It's certainly the most modern destination in the country, although as with everywhere in this fascinating country, there will be more than enough ruins and historical sites to fill your time if you so choose.
Expect wide boulevards and café culture galore in this purpose-built capital. There is a large student population which helps create a youthful vibe, and of course adds to the nightlife. Flights to Ankara are a hidden gem at the moment - so get yourself on one in 2013 or 2014 before the rest of the world cottons on!
There are no direct flights to Ankara from the UK, so expect to make at least one stop along the way. When looking at an indirect flight to Ankara you will probably find only stopping once costs less or the same as more stops, so check your itinerary to maximise your holiday time! Travel times range from six hours upwards, with most Ankara flights stopping in Istanbul offering the fastest route.
Most cheap flights to Ankara land at Esenboga International Airport and there are a choice of ways when it comes to travelling onwards to your Ankara hotel once you arrived.
The Havas Shuttle is a shuttle bus offering a direct route into the city centre. The service leave 25 minutes after each flight lands at off-peak times, with services half hourly throughout the day. There are a choice of stops so you can get close to your hotel in Ankara after your flight arrives with relative ease, without paying over the odds.
For a cheaper option, you could also try the local buses. Line 442 heads into the city from the airport, and you should expect cheaper costs but a longer journey time. Buses only run during the day and into the evening, with no late night service.
Taxis are available and you should make sure that you agree a price beforehand or use the meter. You could also hire a car from the airport and make your own way to your accommodation after your Ankara flight arrives. Just make sure that your hotel has parking!
You should definitely prepare for a slightly hectic experience if you choose to take a hire car out and about in the city because the road system is pretty confusing! Thankfully there are public transport options too, although it's true that these can be on the perplexing side too at the start. Allow plenty of time on your first day and don't be scared of asking people - the locals are generally pretty friendly and happy to help! The metro is the easiest to navigate, although it covers a much smaller area than the local buses. You can pay for the buses with cash but you will need to buy a multi-use card for the metro which can be loaded with cash at kiosks and metro stations.
Probably your best bet is to walk whenever you can with taxis when you need them. Make sure that the taxi driver starts the meter as you will definitely pay over the odds with a fixed fare. Tipping is not the norm.
Turkey's founder is buried in Anitkabir, a mausoleum which sits proudly in the Anittepe district, complete with a museum within. If you want historical ruins then head to the Temple of Augustus and Rome which was built in 20BC, or visit the hill that overlooks the city for ancient ruins and a view too!. Atakule Tower is a more modern addition to the skyline but nonetheless impressive for any arrivals on Ankara flights. Kocatepe Mosque has gorgeous minarets and an imposing facade that is also worth seeing.